Steamboat Point LbNA # 58171
|Placed Date||Jun 5 2011|
|Location||Steamboat Point, Bighorn Mountains, Dayton, WY|
** Box is A-OK and ready for finders as of May 2015 **
This letterbox is located on top of Steamboat Point in the Bighorn Mountains. It should be accessible from May through early November. Snow can be present along the trail through June. Keep your eyes peeled for rattlesnakes. People will tell you that this area is too high for rattlesnakes but my mother-in-law still tells the story about the gigantic rattlesnake she saw here 20 years ago.
To find the trailhead: From Dayton, follow US 14 west for 19 or so miles. Steamboat Point will be visible on the left side of the road (see picture!). There is a new parking lot at the bottom of the hill, but you can also park along the road and blaze your own trail for the first bit if you need to avoid snow. However you approach Steamboat Point, you will see the path to take: an old jeep road that quickly ascends towards the rocks.
This is a short hike totaling about 1.5 miles in and out, but it can be steep going, particularly the first, jeep-trail area. At the base of the rocks, you'll find that the trail moves along to the east at an easier pace and soon begins switchbacking up through the rocks. There's no climbing involved, but you will need to watch your footing on some of the sections. There isn't much in the way of shade and it is usually windy on the top, so bring your sunscreen and extra shirt! If you look carefully you can find fossils along the rocks and ridges - ancient stuff like sponges, algae and worm tracks, but nothing much more evolved than that!
Make your way to Steamboat Point. You'll know when you get there as you can't go any farther. A primitive wood railing is all that's between you and a long way down. There's also the remains of a foundation of some sort on the Point. I believe this used to be one of the many fire look-out stations that dotted the Bighorns years ago. The views are great and you can see the locations of several of my other letterboxes from up here. Black Mountain Lookout [http://www.atlasquest.com/showinfo.html?gBoxId=149237] lies to the south. And the Tongue River's box canyon [http://www.atlasquest.com/showinfo.html?gBoxId=156580] is visible to the north. (As an aside, there is also an older LbNA letterbox called "Steamboat" [http://www.letterboxing.org/BoxView.php?boxnum=24868&boxname=Steamboat] located a short distance away. I've never been able to find this box - maybe you'll have better luck than I have.)
Oh, you walked all the way up here for a letterbox? OK! It might be helpful to have two people to find this box. **Please note that over the years several new cairns have popped up in the area of the letterbox. You're still looking for the two largest ones, situated as described below**
Two cairns on the Point.
One along the trail.
One along the northern ridgeline.
Neither very far from the Overlook.
Walk from one cairn to the other.
Until you find the tallest tree between them.
It has two trunks.
Under this tree, under a large flat rock
is the letterbox!
I carved the stamp sitting on the Point. It's of a feature that I thought was striking during my visit. I hope you are able to find the box - let me know how it goes!